Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Ruby's Cafe & Spirits Lounge
Neighbor Tims BBQ

Ruby's Cafe & Spirits Lounge
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2010-01

734 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-9688

Reviews by the General Public

A lawsuit waiting to happen, 7/27/2009
Reviewer: Lorena-Sherman Oaks from Santa Barbara, CA
I was invited to a birthday party last sunday. The food was buffet style: The spicy shrimp were delicious, the rice was a little overcooked and plain. Basically the shrimp was the only memorable item on the menu. Certainly not the best mexican food. The whole party had been taken indoors and we were enjoying a show. The floor got wet and a couple of my friends slipped and fell so I turned around and asked a waiter and a bartender who were right behind me if they could please send someone to mop the floor. The waiter just looked at me blankly and shrugged his shoulders for what I took as I don't give a **** and snickered. I did not expect this type of response or service(lack). I turned to the bartender and he handed me a towel and I dried the mop as best I could. Tossed the towel onto the bar and told them that I had just done their job and turned around. the waiter was in his early 20s, med complexion, stocky, short haired. I really hope the manager reads this!!! go back----no

Loved the food and the service!, 10/15/2008
Reviewer: Amanda from San Jose, CA
I had gone here last summer with a group of people and the food was great, recently my boyfriend and I took a trip to Santa Barbara. We went to this restaurant, and again, it was great! This time though, they had a guy singing in the main dining room...kinda cheesy singing Stevie Wonder songs, but it was cool and kinda romantic. haha, we will definitely eat here again.

Wonderful Experience, 6/19/2008
Reviewer: Brian from Eureka, CA
Ruby's was excellent through & through. My burrito was great and too big, so I brought the leftovers back to my hotel. I was still chomping on it at 11 at night! The tequila selection was awesome, and the kind owner (manager? head waiter?) personally took me aside to talk about fine tequilas!!! The prices were reasonable and the service was superb. Ask for a side dish of jalapenos with your meal. You will not be disappointed with Ruby's. Asombroso!

Good Food and Fast Service, 5/12/2008
Reviewer: Cody from Santa Barbara, ca
I went here on my lunch and it was a fairly busy day. i was really shocked how fast the food came out and the speedyness of service. I only ordered a burrito but also was thinking that it would have take awhile to get my food because i only get a hour. But less than 5 minutes my burritto came out. and i also did notice otehrs were getting their food fairly quickly to. I would defiently go back.

RUDEST SERVICE EVER; Never would I go Back, 5/12/2008
Reviewer: Samar from Santa Maria
When we first sat down and asked if the restaurant had a certain mexican dish, the lady looked at us funny and said NO, NO! very short and rude. Wow. Then my elderly father that rarely likes to eat out asked for a napkin to clean his own spill of coffee, the waiter then said to my father "what would you like me to do, take the table sheet out?" in a loud voice and sarcastically, WOW! we could not believe this service, We asked him for a different waiter, of course he cut us off before we were done speaking and he said "don't worry I got you a different waiter". WOW. We all looked at each other, and were very confused. I mean really, certainly I'm all for being rude to the people that might be a bit rude to hard-working people, but come on, this tall man that I found out later from one of the waitresses that he was one of the people in charge should not be working with people. I did ask for the manager and they ignored me. I will find out though. I truly hope that this does not happen to anyone else, I truly hope the manager reads this review and has a talk w/ that waiter, we DID NOT deserve treatment/service like that. And in all fairness our second waiter that we got was Awesome, his service was Great his name I believe was Nicolas, my food did not taste GOOD at all after all that, that is the reason I did not rate it. w

ONE Terrible Server, 8/6/2007
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara
First off, I've been going to Ruby's for breakfast for years now - the food has always been above average and the service is usually fine... not so this last Sunday. My 2 friends and I arrived a little after 10:30 AM on Sunday to a half-empty restaurant. Our drink orders were promptly filled and our food orders were taken after a little under 5 minutes of waiting. So far, service was fine. Time passes and we notice the restaurant is filling up with morning breakfasters. As my friends and I were talking, I noticed the four tables surrounding us (which had all been empty when we arrived in) had received their orders already and were almost finished eating. When I looked at my watch, I realized we had been sitting waiting for over 40 minutes for our food. I caught our server's eye and he hurried over assuring us our food would be out in "One more minute." After waiting another 10 minutes (all the tables around us had now paid for their food, left, and had been filled with new customers) I stood up in search of our server. I found him by the bar and asked him if our food was going to come out soon. He asked me to follow him and took my forearm to lead me. He walked me to the kitchen and with a slight nudge, told me that if I wanted to know where my food was, to ask the cooks in the back. I got angry and said, "Isn't that YOUR job? Why would I go ask the cooks where our order is? I don't work here." To which he replied huffily, "I can cancel your order then - I'm too busy to check the restaurant is full." I reminded him that we had arrived well before the restaurant became busy to which he shrugged and nudged me again to go ask the cooks in the back. When I resisted, he said "What do you want me to do? Cancel your order?" Extremely angry at this point (the man was still tugging on my forearm) I said to him "Obviously I don't want the order cancelled because I'm asking you where it is - we've been waiting for over 50 minutes and you're telling me you're 'too busy' to find out what happened to our order?! My friends and I are starving and we just want to know what happened to our food!" At this point, another server caught the last part of our argument and came over asking what the problem was. After explaining the situation, he apologized and said he would find out immediately where our food was. Literally 30 seconds later, the intervening server was walking out of the kitchen with our food plates (our orders weren't difficult - it was a matter of scooping up the eggs/potatoes and toast onto a plate). We did not see our first server after that - the intervening server took over our order and apologized for the way his coworker handled the situation. He said the manager was not in at the moment and the best he could do was to comp our drinks. I thanked him profusely for finding out what happened to our food and apologized for yelling at our first incompetent server. I didn't catch the name of our first server as I think he was avoiding me but he was short, stocky, in his mid-40s, with a slightly high pitched melodic voice. I will most likely go back to Ruby's because they do have good food and the majority of the workers are good - that guy was just not one of them.

Mexican chillaquilles, 8/4/2007
Reviewer: Rosie from West Hills, Ca
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was the short and simple word which came to mind when I first tried RUBY'S Chillaquilles (I believe that is how you spell Chillaquilles). They are a Must, when having breakfast at Ruby's Cafe. Enjoy!

I always enjoy, 4/20/2007
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara
This place is great! The service was fast and the food was delicious! They have a wide variety of food on the menu and its all good. A must try. And a must repeat!

Food is always great!, 4/11/2007
Reviewer: DeJesus from Winston-Salem/Norh Carolina
While in SB one day we stubbled upon this eatery and found it to be very good. I would recommend this place to any traveler to SB. I am from North Carolina and travel many places in the U.S. and found that the Mexican Food here is as good as it gets for this country. SB has many Mexican Style of cooking but Ruby's is at the top of the list. No line and no reservations needed. Just good food and service.

Awesome, fast, courteous Mexican, 2/20/2007
Reviewer: Jon from Santa Barbara, CA
If you want to eat at a place with awesome food and no reservation needed this is the place. My date and I had originally planned to eat somewhere else but the wait was too long so we went looking for another place to eat. I was delighted when we stumbled upon this gem. There was no wait, the service was awesome, and the food was great. Definitely recommend it if you need a good quick place to eat

Wonderful Experience!!!!, 1/25/2007
Reviewer: Holly Elliott from Santa Maria, CA
1/21/2007 What great food!. We loved everything (especially the Bloody Mary, would love to have their recipe). We dined outside and had great service. We would definitely go again.

Margaritaville!, 6/19/2006
Reviewer: Melanie Kuecker from Chicago, IL
LOVED the Margaritas here! Chips and Salsa are free! Great if you just want to relax after a hard day of shopping on State Street!

June 6th dinner at Rubys Cafe, 6/7/2006
Reviewer: tim and michelle kirkelie from santa barbara, ca
we came into Rubys at around 7:15pm on Tuesday night June 6th. we ordered steak fajitas, and chicken tacos. the steak tasted old, it was not fresh. it had a very odd gamey taste. the sour cream also tasted odd. it tasted very sweet and had an odd after taste. the meat and veggies were dripping with oil. the chicken tacos were also very oily. the chicken didnt taste right. not as bad as the steak, but it wasnt fresh either. it took along time to get our bill, and we were one of only two tables with people inside! the place was pretty empty. we absolutely will not be going there again. we go out to eat very often in santa barbara, and do not consider ourselves to be picky. especially when it comes to mexican food. we are sorry to say that we have not had food this bad in SB. the waiter looked at us funny when he asked if we wanted "to go" boxes and we answered no. we didnt complain at the time, that isnt our style to send food back. we just agreed to pay and not go back. we had breakfast there one sunday and it was ok. we must have come on a bad night. we will stick to carlitos, and other places around town. there are many great places for mexican in SB.

MMMmmMmmm, 9/2/2005
Reviewer: Paris from Santa Barbara
I have always had really good sevice at Ruby´s. It is a family run business and the owner can often be found tasting the food at the last table in the back to make sure that it is up to par. I really like the steak soft tacos with avocado and lots of salsa and lime. The chicken enchiladas and the steak nachos are really good too. Breakfast menu offers everything from cinnomon roll french toast to huevos rancheros. The margaritas and bloody marys are some of the best in town.

great food!, 6/13/2005

i was in santa barbara for 10 days and i came here about 6 times! they make the best corn beef hash! a trip to sb isnt complete without eating here!

Good Food Bad Service, 5/23/2005

My mom and I stopped here for mother´s day on sunday and the hostess was way friendly then our waiter was, it took him 15 min. to get to us and it was´int even busy that day anyway, he asked us for our drinks another 10 min., then our order another 15 min. after that we never saw him again he never asked us how our food was or asked if we needed a refill of juice or coffee I felt if I asked him I would be bothering him and that´s not right overall he was rude.

good food, bad service, 4/3/2005

me and my boyfriend had breakfast here on a sunday morning and were absolutely ignored by the waitstaff. it took them 20 minutes to take our order, and after we were finished, about 20 more minutes to give us the check. the waiter (i think he was the manager) was unfriendly and had a kind of "what do you want?" sort of attitude. very good food, but service was so bad i don´t think we´ll be coming back.

Has Its Own Flavor, 3/30/2004
Reviewer: Kim from Antelope Valley
This is my stop everytime we get a chance to come home to Santa Barbara. Their Nachos are the best(ordering them with chicken or beef only makes them better), huge burritos, great tasting, etc, etc, etc. I used to work downtown and this was my stop for lunch more often than not.

Really popular breakfast, 1/3/2004

They service Mexican food plus an international mix of foods, inluding Italian. Breakfast includes American food too and the place is jammed-packed popular. It is right in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara on State Street.

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